It began as a blog.
I was making my first and only feature film, and people wanted to follow the crazy, fun, frustrating events.
So, I built a website and began chronicling the adventures of making my movie, Revenge in Kind.
I blogged with no holds barred. I wrote about one prima donna crewmember who demanded finer meals than the other crew members, sassed, took inopportune breaks — and got fired.
I recounted how a location “owner” withdrew permission for us to use the location hours before filming because he wasn’t actually the real owner. He had just hoped to pocket the rental fee.
There were a host of last-minute changes in the filming for all manner of reasons. One time, my attorney told me I had to change the name of a character. I could be sued if I didn’t, because a name search had turned up an incarcerated guy whose name and crime were the same as a villain I wrote.
One funny moment came at 5 A.M. on a day we were filming a bar scene. We needed to set up, but I didn’t see the owner who had signed the location agreement (and this time I’d confirmed he owned the place). What I did see was a different guy, well into his first drink of the day. He claimed ownership.
Then the owner that I knew walked in.
He sat at the other end of the bar, glowering at the different guy, and started drinking too. I had to sort out who really owned the place without a fight between the two.
The answer was that the first guy sold to the second one to settle a debt and the deal would be final in a day.
We were still able to film the scene, but it took some delicate diplomacy to keep the situation calm between the owners, who continued to drink and try to outstare each other throughout.
The movie making was such a unique experience that the blog continued to grow, as did its following. After the filming was complete, I ended the blog, but continued writing a diary. I added personal stories of how I had come to write the script and decide to make the movie.
A few friends and family asked to read it and were surprised that it was not a how-to-make-a-movie book, but rather a compilation of the ups and downs of making this specific film.
I was 67 when I filmed the movie in Dallas. It took me almost a year to finish editing and finalize it. It was such a great adventure that I felt like sharing my story, so I self-published Filming An Indie: A Diary of Making Revenge In Kind on Amazon in May of this year.
You can read about the above stories and more in greater detail. But it just goes to show how keeping busy and creative makes a great path to happiness.